Saxophonist Ole Mathisen has long looked to the processes that govern the natural world as inspiration for his music. He’s released an album called Periodic Table and composed a work for chamber orchestra, The Other Side of Night, inspired by Stephen Hawking’s book, The Grand Design. In his own groups and with collaborators like trumpeter Amir ElSaffar, Mathisen has been a thorough explorer of microtonality and different tuning systems—a musical means of engaging with these elemental, physical ideas.
This Thursday, June 22nd, Mathisen will celebrate the release of his newest record, Floating Points, with two sets at The Jazz Gallery. The album features a suite of new music once again inspired by natural phenomena—in this case, turbulence, wave patterns, wind shear, and currents. Mathisen describes his process from inspiration to composition thusly:
I found inspiration to write the Floating Point suite as I was reading about mathematical equations developed by the two mathematicians: Navier and Stokes. It’s stated that these equations are versions of Newton’s 2nd law of motion for fluids, and as I have a fairly good understanding of how to use Newton’s law, I thought I might be able to get an idea what the Navier-Stokes equations were about as well. However, I was wrong about that. These equations are exceedingly complex, and having abandoned the idea of finding ways of musically plotting strict translations of solutions to the equations, I rather decided to reflect on how fluids (and air) is in constant motion and to try to give the music the feeling of never quite coming to defined resting points and to imbue the music with a sense of inner forces and turmoil.
Come to the Gallery this Thursday evening to hear Mathisen’s thoughtful and richly-layered compositions played by a top-notch band, including trumpeter Amir ElSaffar, pianist Bobby Avey, and bassist Gregg August.
Saxophonist Ole Mathisen celebrates the release of Floating Point (Self-Released) at The Jazz Gallery on Thursday, June 22nd, 2017. The group features Mr. Mathisen on tenor saxophone, Amir ElSaffar on trumpet, Bobby Avey on piano, and Gregg August on bass. Sets are at 7:30 and 9:30 P.M. $15 general admission (FREE for members) for each set. Purchase tickets here.